REVIEW: Titans, S2E13 – Nightwing

In “Nightwing,” Donna’s (Conor Leslie) world ends not with a bang, but with an electric shock – or so Titans would have us think. The season finale tackles several dangling plot threads in the span of an hour, which could easily have been spread out over more episodes. Dick (Brenton Thwaites) dons the Nightwing suit to finish off Slade (Esai Morales), but someone beats him to the kill. The rest of the crew rally in order to save Gar (Ryan Potter) and Conner (Joshua Orpin) from Cadmus, but they lose one of their own in the process. Finally, Kory’s (Anna Diop) sister makes a last act appearance to shed light on what Season 3 will look like.

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Lose a dad, gain a brother.

The fact that Deathstroke was removed as an obstacle within the first ten minutes of “Nightwing” was one of the biggest letdowns, and felt far too similar to how Titans handled Trigon. Why drag out a villain for a whole season when a single confrontation with no particular exertion does the trick? Nevertheless, Rose (Chelsea Zhang) killing her abuser and welcoming Jericho (Chella Mann) into a kinder home is poetic justice and the highlight of the episode. Too bad it makes Dick’s season-long quest to get a new suit and name feel kind of moot. Rose and Jericho sharing one body feels very Korean Odyssey, and it was a shame the show didn’t give them a moment to get to know each other or to check in with Jericho’s mom.

With Slade out of the way, “Nightwing” moves onto the brainwashed teens – which the Titans reach with ease after episodes of barely coming close. Turns out they just had to wait for Mercy to put them on public auction and meet them at a fair for a showdown. There’s a particularly poignant bit of full circle work when Rachel (Teagan Croft) pulls Gar out of his tiger rampage with the touch of her hand. Considering the face that the show has yet to broach romance with them – and thankfully so, because Croft is so young – the two have managed to cultivate the most romantic dynamic on the show. In the Platonic ideal sense, of course.

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Father-son bonding time.

Hank (Alan Ritchson) showing up to help Dawn (Minka Kelly) and the team stop the boys from hurting anyone was the first big surprise of the storyline, and the sweetest. The second one was much more bitter, as Donna is killed after saving Dawn from a falling an electric pole. While her death leads to heartfelt scenes for the Titans, and a thoughtful conversation between Dick and Bruce especially, the moment itself was nearly laughable in its execution. Thankfully it may not be permanent, as Rachel took her body to Themyscira to see if she could be revived.

Another strong scene was the one in which Dick apologized to Gar for abandoning him and acknowledged that Beast Boy was the one who tried the hardest to keep the group together. The final shot of the current configuration of Titans was hopeful and inspiring enough to create anticipation for Season 3, but the majority of this season’s episodes did not do its premise justice.

Titans will return for a third season on DC Universe.